Family Code section 216 - "Prohibited Communications With Court Appointed Evaluators"

CALIFORNIA CODES

CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE

Division 2. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Part 2. GENERAL PROCEDURAL PROVISIONS

Current through the 2011 Legislative Session

ยง 216.

(a) In the absence of a stipulation by the parties to the contrary, there shall be no ex parte communication between the attorneys for any party to an action and any court-appointed or court-connected evaluator or mediator, or between a court-appointed or court-connected evaluator or mediator and the court, in any proceedings under this code, except with regard to the scheduling of appointments.

(b) There shall be no ex parte communications between counsel appointed by the court pursuant to Section 3150 and any court-appointed or court-connected evaluator or mediator, except where it is expressly authorized by the court or undertaken pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (c) of Section 3151.

(c) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply in the following situations:

(1) To allow a mediator or evaluator to address a case involving allegations of domestic violence as set forth in Sections 3113, 3181, and 3192.

(2) To allow a mediator or evaluator to address a case involving allegations of domestic violence as set forth in Rule 5.215 of the California Rules of Court.

(3) If the mediator or evaluator determines that ex parte communication is needed to inform the court of his or her belief that a restraining order is necessary to prevent an imminent risk to the physical safety of the child or the party.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the responsibilities a mediator or evaluator may have as a mandated reporter pursuant to Section 11165.9 of the Penal Code or the responsibilities a mediator or evaluator may have to warn under Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California (1976) 17 Cal.3d 425, Hedlund v. Superior Court (1983) 34 Cal.3d 695, and Section 43.92 of the Civil Code.

(e) The Judicial Council shall, by July 1, 2006, adopt a rule of court to implement this section.

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